x

Society

Netta Barzilai Wins 2018 Eurovision for Israel Ahead of Cyprus

LISBON, Portugal (AP) — Netta Barzilai is sassy, she’s fun and she can sing — and now the Israeli has won the Eurovision Song Contest with a catchy techno dance tune about women’s empowerment.

The 25-year-old pre-competition favorite beat out competition from 42 other countries’ performers Saturday to claim the music extravaganza’s annual crown at the Grand Final with her song “Toy.”

There was a strong field of contestants at this year’s event in Lisbon, Portugal, which was watched by an estimated 200 million people. The votes coming in live from the capitals of participating countries delivered a tense finale, with Israel gripped in a tight, five-way race with Cyprus, Austria, Sweden and Germany.

Barzilai eventually racked up 529 points, compared with 436 for runner-up Cyprus with “Fuego” by Eleni Foureira, and 342 for third-place Austria with Cesar Sampson’s “Nobody But You.”

The contest largely shed its traditional hallmarks of glitz and glitter in favor of a more restrained and tasteful tone in Lisbon, which was hosting the event because it won last year with Salvador Sobral’s sober and subdued ballad “Amar pelos Dois.”

Sobral last week criticized “Toy” as “horrible music,” insisting the focus should be on the music and not the spectacle.

But Barzilai, with her Asian-themed show in red and yellow and her dancers doing funky chicken moves, was unrepentant.

“I’m happy people chose something different. It’s refreshing,” she said. “I believe authenticity (shows) through.”

Her win — Israel’s fourth and first since 1998 — means her country hosts next year’s Eurovision Song Contest.

“Next time in Jersualem!” Barzilai shouted to the audience as she picked up her award.

The international contest began as a competition between European countries, but its huge popularity has led to the inclusion of Israel and Australia among the performers.

Barzilai, known more usually as Netta, has a witty and endearing personality. Before the Grand Final, her song had already racked up more than 20 million views on Eurovision’s YouTube channel.

In “Toy,” Netta makes funny noises, including a clucking sound like a chicken and barely decipherable words, and uses a looping machine and synthesizer.

The lyrics say, “I’m not your toy, You stupid boy, I’ll take you down.”

Portugal came last, with 39 points.

Fans caught their breath when a protester ran onto the stage and snatched away the microphone of the United Kingdom’s contestant SuRie.

The man got hold of the microphone but was quickly tackled by security and taken away while SuRie stood by. The British singer kept her composure and picked up her song where she left off.

Previous editions of the annual event have also witnessed protesters getting onto the stage.

The event is organized by the European Broadcasting Union, an alliance of public service broadcasters. In each participating country, a jury and viewers award between one and a maximum 12 points to their favorite songs. Those votes are combined to give each country a single score.

Past winners have rarely become household names, but they include Swedish pop group ABBA and Spanish crooner Julio Iglesias.

By BARRY HATTON , Associated Press

RELATED

NICOSIA - Despite a sigh of relief that the COVID-19 pandemic is on the downswing – if still causing cases, hospitalizations and deaths – there's concern on Cyprus about the appearance of a number of other viruses with winter looming.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

‘In the Wine Dark Sea’ Documentary on Wines of Crete Now on Prime Video

BALTIMORE, MD – Wine Cellar Stories Productions announced the release of ‘In the Wine Dark Sea,’ the exciting new wine documentary by Chrisa Giorgi, featuring Master of Wine Konstantinos Lazarakis and 11 winemakers from Crete, Greece.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) is once again transformed into the city’s most magical Christmas destination On Wednesday, December 1, at 19:00.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Emboldened House Democrats ushered in a new generation of leaders on Wednesday with Rep.

STORRS, CT – The Center for Hellenic Studies ‘Paideia’ of the University of Connecticut gave a warm welcome to Greece’s Minister of Culture Lina Mendoni, who paid a visit to the Center on November 29.

ATHENS - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday spoke on the phone with his Italian counterpart, Giorgia Meloni, whom he congratulated on assuming her duties.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. abc@xyz.com

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.